Cheap web hosting: The what/why/how
Are you on the lookout for a cheap hosting option in Australia (maybe even free website hosting)? Shared hosting is a great way for small businesses to keep their websites up and running without breaking the bank. Those looking for their first package for web hosting tend to stick to a cheap hosting plan like shared hosting. It’s typically a service for entry-level users, which offers any resources they will need for their startup or personal website to succeed. It’s the ideal way for those looking to host a smaller site to get all the features of a professional website at a fraction of the price. Typically, all the websites and content from multiple sites associated with them are stored on just one machine, which cuts costs substantially while still resulting in a quality service.
Selecting an Australian hosting provider (or cheap New Zealand web hosting company, or any of the other countries we cover here at MangoMatter, like the UK, Canada, Singapore, & Ireland) that delivers what you need from them within your budget can often be a herculean task if you are just starting out with your website. While it would be nice to have a Virtual Private Server, or VPS, these tend to come with a high price tag. When it comes to getting all the features you need for a professional website with the most up-to-date web applications, while cutting down on costs, cheap hosting is the way to go.
How Does Cheap Hosting Work?
Shared hosting can provide a cheap hosting option to Australian users by using the powerful resources of a modern server and using it to serve multiple clients. This is much like how, in an apartment building with 10 units, each unit is fed electricity, water, and cable by tributaries branching from a single, main line. In addition to that, if a water line breaks, the landlord takes care of the problem for you. The premise of shared hosting is just the same; you share a server with other websites, and you trust the server administrator to take care of all major malfunctions. Each website on the server is allotted a certain amount of processing power, storage space, and internet bandwidth for the operation and well-being of your site. The server administrator keeps your operating system and related software up to date, so you don’t have to concern yourself with it.
When it comes to looking for an affordable option for hosting your website, cheap hosting can always be found through a shared hosting provider. Unless you plan to have extensive, custom application development or expect an exceedingly high flow of traffic, the limited space and bandwidth you are allowed through shared hosting will likely never become a problem.
Why Cheap Web Hosting?
Unless you are planning on operating a site that will see a lot of traffic all at one time, or one that utilizes exceedingly advanced technologies, you probably will not experience a problem with shared hosting. That means a large corporation should probably pass up shared hosting as an option, but your startup or small business should be just fine for the time being (definitely when you’re running a decent CMS like WordPress) – and you can always move your website elsewhere if and when the limitations of cheap hosting become a problem. Individuals looking to start a blog or build a small website for their business should find cheap hosting to suit their needs perfectly.
Whatever the purpose of your website is, you likely want to find a way to get it up and running as quickly as possible without compromising quality in any way. Unless you think your website is going to be a hot spot on the internet, shared hosting is the way to get everything you want all in one place without spending the big bucks. Most people opt to use cheap Australian hosting for their first website, as it is much easier, still offers all the features you may want to use, it comes with plenty of space for most people, etc. At the end of the day, you won’t notice the difference unless you truly make it big time—at which point, the price tag of an upgraded server shouldn’t be a problem in the least.
Side-note: If you’re a web designer wanting to host clients, please don’t use a shared account, go with a reseller account instead and save yourself future issues.
- Less pricey alternative: As the name suggests, cheap website hosting is not as expensive as other alternatives like dedicated hosting. It’s a way to get your website up and running without emptying your wallet.
- Server administrator: With shared hosting, you have a server administrator to monitor and take care of problems for you. They keep your operating system and related software updated to the latest version so you don’t have to spare a thought to it at all.
- Offers all the features you need: Cheap hosting provides all the features that a startup business, blog, personal website, or other small-scale websites could possibly need, so you’ll have everything you need available at your fingertips.
- Limited Space: Although many services advertise unlimited server space, this simply is not true. If you start to approach the capacity they’ve allotted you, you will be asked to upgrade your hosting package, likely to a VPS.
- Can’t Handle High Traffic: If you think you may have a lot of people going to your website, you might want to avoid a cheap hosting plan. A lot of traffic will often result in your server becoming bogged down and running much more slowly than you’d like.
What is shared hosting?
Shared hosting is a website hosting plan in which several users share a single server to host their website. The server is often virtual.
How does it work? How are files kept from becoming mixed up?
The files and applications on each account are kept separate within the server (usually using cPanel), and there is no way for them to interact whatsoever. Each user gets their own partition of the server, in which their files and applications are stored, and with their own file directory tree. Users will not have access to each other’s partitions or the files within them. The web server and computing resources, however, are shared by all the accounts on the server.
Does shared hosting mean I will share an IP address with other websites?
In most cases, yes it does. Shared hosting plans, by default, tend to be “name-based virtual hosts.” For this reason, all the accounts tend to share an identical IP address, and the routine will occur based on the name of the domain. This, however, should not have any direct consequences on the security of your website. One disadvantage of this fact, though, is that you will not be able to operate with an SSL security certificate through your name-based virtual host, which refers to most of the shared hosting plans available. The reasoning behind this is because, when a browser connects to a server using the HTTPS protocol, the encryption and security certificate check are completed prior to the client sending the entire request header to the server. At such point, it is impossible to know which domain name the security certificate is intended for.
How many websites can exist on a single server?
Lots. An unlimited number of websites can technically fit on a single server. Every web hosting company needs to decide on the density of shared accounts based on how many machines they have available and what usage statistics they are going off. It’s not uncommon for a single server to host over 1,000 websites, meaning that all those domains are operating out of a single IP address. However, that’s probably not the kind of shared hosting package you want to be using, and you should search for one that won’t pack so many websites onto a single server.
Can I have a unique IP address through shared hosting?
Yes, you can. Many shared hosting providers offer a plan that comes with a “dedicated IP address,” meaning the routine will be done through “IP-based virtual hosts.” This means that a single web server is capable of handling multiple IP addresses, in which case, you are still sharing all the resources of the computer, but operating out of your own IP address.
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